Work is progressing on the Pomonal Speed Safe Initiative after residents came out in force to vote for their preferred traffic treatment option at the town’s primary school.
The initiative originated from community concerns about the high speeds some drivers travelled through Pomonal, with four concepts developed and presented to residents last month.
Ararat CEO Dr Tim Harrison said residents were asked to vote on the four concepts, with the primary school idea proving the most popular.
Dr Harrison said data collected last year by the Council showed around 25% of vehicles travelled through the town at speeds higher than the 60kmh limit.
“Although there are plenty of traditional speed signs in Pomonal, drivers are either not noticing them or are ignoring them, which is extremely concerning,” he said.
“As a result, it was decided a more innovative approach was needed to give drivers greater visual cues that they are driving through a built-up area and need to slow down.”
Ararat Rural City Council received $50,000 from Regional Roads Victoria’s Towards Safer Speeds Challenge grant program for the project. Council surveyed the community and received fantastic ideas about how to tackle the issue, then engaged a landscape architect to develop four concepts that will help these ideas come to life.
Dr Harrison said that with limited funding, the Council could only implement one of the concepts at this stage so the community was asked to vote on their preferred option via email or letter, and at a drop-in session held in April.
However, he said that Council was now seeking more funding in a bid to complete the other three ideas.
The four concepts were:
- Pomonal Primary School – installing a pedestrian crossing, creating a gathering space for student drop off and pick up, landscaping, widening the footpath and installing public art.
- Sculptural town entrances – using local artists, creating large town entrance signs referencing the natural environment, surrounded by native landscaping.
- General Store intersection – road and traffic treatments to better delineate the intersection and better manage traffic flow, and the installation of large public art pieces
- Pomonal Community Hall – installation of a sculptural fence, landscape plantings, signage and grouped seating areas.
The Pomonal Primary School project was the most popular, with the intersection concept coming second, the town entrances third and the Pomonal Community Hall fourth.
The project is being driven by a group of committed residents including representatives from the Pomonal Primary School and the Pomonal Progress Association.
Dr Harrison said the drop-in session in April was really well attended with around 70 people calling in to view the concepts and vote.
“Those who dropped in included Pomonal Primary School students and it was great to see them come down as a group and take part in the consultation,” he said.
“Ararat Rural City Council staff, Regional Roads Victoria, and landscape architect Felicity Brown were all on hand to discuss the concepts, and there were lots of questions and positive discussion around the ideas.
“It was fantastic to see the community come out in force and show their passion and commitment to make their village safer for everyone.”
Image above: an artist’s impression of the Pomonal Primary School concept.